Traffic Deaths, Severe Injuries Decline in Virginia

Traffic fatalities dropped nearly 28 percent from 2007 to 2010

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    Traffic fatalities and severe injuries in Virginia are declining.

    State figures show the number of traffic fatalities dropped nearly 28 percent across four years: from 1,026 in 2007, down to 740 in 2010.

    During the same period, severe injuries fell from 19,796 to 11,664.

    As of Friday, there have been 608 traffic-related deaths so far this year.

    Safety advocates attribute the declines to several factors, including DUI laws, increased seat belt use and stricter licensing for young drivers.

    Despite the improvements, Connie Sorrell with the Virginia Department of Transportation tells the Virginian-Pilot that the state's numbers are still too high.

    Sorrell says a new initiative aims to reduce secondary crashes at wreck scenes. Representatives of local law enforcement agencies are being trained to clear crash scenes faster.